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Comment Re:Play for the tie (Score 1) 412

I've wondered the same thing. What's more, if you intentionally play for the tie with another player, and they succeed, they may very well reciprocate the favor if they're in the lead on the next show. Won't last forever without some sort of collusion, but it's another marginal increase of your odds of sticking around and winning more money, at little cost to you (just the EV of your additional bet).

Comment Re:And who's brain will it model? (Score 5, Funny) 393

I think the stake holders need to think about that simple question. The last thing we need is some sentient silicon running around like a pestilent child lobbing nukes between hemispheres for fun.

Pestilent children are the worst, with all their plagues and their boils and their oozing pustules.

Comment Re:Jobs killer (Score 1) 316

This is an especially naive post, not in its contents but in its conclusions. Yes, computers reduce the need for laborers in the workforce by taking over some jobs outright and making other workers more productive. And it's only going to continue, and we have already started to see that the demand for labor is dropping well beneath the actual supply.

But taking the leap from there to the conclusion that we should remove the incentive for people to educate themselves is sophistry. How do you think we got to the point of having these computers and all this other modern technology? We haven't reached the level where computers are going to be able to make the next breakthroughs themselves, and even once we do, we'll need people who can work with the computers and support them. An entire society cannot support itself on blissful ignorance.

If you don't promote education and make it worthwhile economically, then people won't pursue it on their own. If you give a person the choice of getting an education to develop a valuable skill and then working that skill for the rest of their life, or skipping an education to develop no valuable skills and then leading a life of free time and pleasure-seeking, and the standard of living is the same for either choice, which one do you think they'll go for?

Comment Re:Keep up or shut up (Score 1) 785

Yes, but the existing employee is probably already performing some important job. If you train him to take on these new duties, you have to scale back his original duties, or you have to hire someone new anyway to take over those original duties. So unless you can magically get by on less work, or somehow convince your existing employees to take on more work during the same hours, you're going to have to hire someone new and train them on the business side of things anyway. If you consider that to be a sunk cost, then of course it makes more sense for the new hire to be trained on the new technology, because of the overhead involved in switching the existing person from where they are to their new role.

Doesn't make it right, but it does make sense.

Comment Re:erm, all of the above (Score 1) 312

Anyone who acquires information, whatever the means, has at least some responsibility when determining whether or not to share it. It's one thing to expose corruption, regardless of the field (political, corporate, religious, etc.). It's another to expose the identities of people who are risking their lives to oppose a corrupt government or a terrorist operation.

Comment Re:The key word is "balance"... (Score 1) 352

It's amusing to listen to people complain about the fact that after your crew gets captured, running around doing other side missions will cause some of them to die waiting for your rescue.


Your crew just got captured by evil aliens! What did you think they would do, keep them in luxury penthouses until you decided it was finally worth your time to come rescue them? I thought that even having one important side mission to undertake before you went after them was a little too much. In theory, you should have to go after them immediately or face the consequences.

This is really more a commentary on how previous games have forced people to think. RPGs are set up nowadays so that few, if any, of the quests have a sense of urgency to them. If a farmer comes up to you and complains about bandits attacking his farm, you can say "Sure, I'll help you out", get an entry in your quest book, then go do the entire rest of the game and come back to the farmer weeks and weeks of game time later. And yet the moment you finally arrive, THAT is when the bandits strike and you can run them off. It's a bit insane that you can go around collecting quests and putting them off until you're ready, even if the quest's storyline is something that has immediate consequences if left unsolved. Even ME2, a tremendous game, suffers from this most of the way through... some loyalty quests (Miranda and Thane come to mind) should be things you have to handle immediately, but instead you can put them off until you feel like dealing with them. You're gaining flexibility but trading away believability.

Comment Re:Grow Ops in Marin? (Score 1) 494

Again, we're talking about different things. You're talking about relative wealth, I'm talking about actual wealth. You only want to view the condition of the middle class relative to the condition of the ultra-wealthy. I'm saying that technology has improved the lives of the middle class and continues to do so as advancements are made. Today we have devices that have more intrinsic value than those we had 10, 20, 50, 100 years ago: today's cars are better, today's computers are better, today's phones are better, and so on. Take the middle class family from 50 years ago that you're citing, transport it with its salary and all its possessions to today, and they'd be poor. You're not denying my point or opposing it in any way.

The technology of smart meters, if implemented properly, will continue to improve the lives of the middle class (and pretty much everyone who uses electricity). Banning them for the reasons listed in the article is foolish, and banning them to protect the jobs of meter readers would be extra-foolish. Opposing them on the grounds that they might, MIGHT, disproportionately provide more gains to the wealthy than to the middle class (an assertion you have not backed up with data), would STILL be foolish.

If you had the opportunity to buy a device for $50 that would save/earn you $100 over the next year, guaranteed, would you do it? Of course you would. What if you knew that the device only cost $10 to manufacture, and so the creator of the device was making millions of dollars off of it? Would you boycott the device because you think you should be spending less for it? You could, but it would be stupid. All you're doing is costing yourself $50 by not buying the device.

If increased efficiency meant that regular people had more, or paid less, then I wouldn't have a problem. As it is, I say they are screwing us, so we should take any opportunity to screw them.

You made this statement, and clearly it's a lie. You don't care that smart meters, if implemented properly and used properly, will save money for the middle class. You only care that "they" (the ultra-wealthy) might gain more from the invention than the middle class would.

Comment Re:Grow Ops in Marin? (Score 1) 494

How can you say that technological progress has not resulted in a wealthier middle class? The middle class owns cars, computers, home appliances and electronics at affordable prices for the majority of Americans. All these things started out as playthings of the rich. The middle class is significantly better off today than it has been at basically any point in human history.

Comment Re:Grow Ops in Marin? (Score 1) 494

I'm not discussing income inequality. I'm discussing whether technological progress for household gadgets, be it computers or smart meters or the like, is of benefit to the occupants of those households.

Say your home gets a smart meter and as a result, it helps you use 10% less energy and you correspondingly pay 10% less on your monthly bill.

As a consequence of your savings (and those of the other customers with this technology), the power company no longer needs to purchase so much electricity from neighboring states, or avoids building a new power plant to handle increased demand, and it saves MILLIONS.

Are you saying that because the power company benefits so greatly, you would sacrifice your own gain just to spite them? Because that's what your argument amounts to.

Comment Re:Grow Ops in Marin? (Score 1) 494

All the gains in productivity in the past 30-40 years have gone to the top one percent.

You can't seriously believe this in an era where the widespread availability of computers and other consumer electronics has lead to the majority of people in developed countries being able to work more efficiently and perform routine tasks much faster than they were before.

If increased efficiency meant that regular people had more, or paid less, then I wouldn't have a problem. As it is, I say they are screwing us, so we should take any opportunity to screw them.

But it WILL result in regular people using less and paying less. Who exactly do you think you're screwing over by advocating for using outdated technology?

Using new technology to reduce electricity consumption and lower the amount of power we need to generate to satisfy our populace shouldn't be the subject of class warfare. It's something everyone should be able to support.

Comment Re:Grow Ops in Marin? (Score 1) 494

Having a particular job is not a right. Having the opportunity to secure a job may be a right, but just because someone has training as, say, a switchboard operator doesn't mean that the person has a right to the continued existence of switchboards.

Unions have several important duties, like standing up for workplace safety standards and combating discrimination. But impeding technological progress in order to protect jobs is a net loss for society. The desire of a company to use a machine instead of a person to perform a job in order to save money shouldn't be viewed as unbridled greed, it should be viewed as smart business sense. Reducing costs should lead to reducing the amount charged for the service in question and, in a case like this one, provides significant efficiency benefits that could lead to reduced electricity consumption and ultimately less destruction of the environment. While there may be legitimate concerns associated with moving to smart meters, the fact that meter readers could lose their jobs shouldn't be among them.

Comment Re:NASA modernization program? (Score 1) 229

You deliberately conflate being born to the mega-wealthy to being born to the merely wealthy so you can dismiss that headstart they get over the other 80% as non-existent.

I can't tell whether you're being deliberately ignorant or just confused. I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT A HEAD START.

You made this statement:

For most, the only thing they are better at is being born into the modern aristocracy.

I am supporting THIS statement:

in the vast majority of cases, those who are pulling in significant salaries and paying into the highest tax brackets are doing so because they nourished some trade or talent that allows them to command a high price for their time and efforts.

Does my statement say anything about whether someone was born into a poor family or a rich one? No, it does not. But it DOES rebut your statement, which claims that most of the wealthy are wealthy only because they are born wealthy. This is NOT TRUE. It takes a large amount of residual wealth being handed down from your parents for someone to lead a rich lifestyle without having to work to maintain it. The pool of these people is small, compared to the number of well-off people (who are still being taxed at the highest rates) who have their money because they go out and earn it on a daily basis.

You are the one who is deliberately conflating the mega-wealthy with the merely comfortable. And I'm still waiting for your citation.

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